AKAPUSI QERA, Gloucester's sensational Fijian flanker, underwent an operation in London on Wednesday night to repair his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Qera, who took the Guinness Premiership by storm in his debut season and came third in the Player of the Season award ceremony following his switch from Pertemps Bees, was operated on by renowned knee surgeon Andy Williams at the Lister Hospital.
The operation was a success and he will now be monitored by Gloucester's medical staff over the next few months as he begins his period of rehabilitation.
At this stage, it is too early to say when he will be back in action but Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan said: "Akapusi's impact on the Premiership last season was tremendous and he produced a number of world class performances so to lose him to an injury of this significance is an obvious blow.
"To be without him and Gareth Delve because of similar injuries is extremely disappointing for us but both will be in great hands at the club and we wish them all the best for their recoveries.
"But we have an outstanding squad and it will provide opportunities for other players to stake their claims for selection."
Delve injured his left knee on Test duty for Wales and will be out for six months.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).